With the help of my student teacher and husband over the past few weeks, I am finally done setting up my classroom. Please keep in mind that this is my sixth year of teaching and fifth time changing rooms. I'm pretty much a professional when it comes starting a room from scratch; however, it hasn't allowed me to really go all out when it comes to permanent decorations. When I taught in Chicago, I taught 3rd grade for two years and stayed in the same room. Then, I moved to 5th grade across the building and needed to start over. I knew I'd only be in fifth for a year before moving to Ohio. After moving to Ohio, I got another job in third as a long-term sub while finishing my teaching certification process. At the end of the year, a full time third grade position opened and my principal had me move clear across the building by the first grade wing to allow a new third grade sub to take my room. This way, if she needed any help, the other third grade teachers were nearby. Guess what? Well, now we're down a third grade section, so I am back in the room I started when I moved to this school AND I'll be moving to Oklahoma next year, so I knew I didn't want to invest big bucks to go all out. Moving classrooms....story of my life. BUT I don't really mind TOO much because I love decorating and moving things around.
I have a very simple bright classroom this year with a touch of dog paws for borders since our school mascot is a bulldog. I love how this room is not only bright with the color-scheme, but also has a whole wall of windows (the nice picture didn't turn out well because of all the sun) that lets a lot of light in!
Ok, let's start the tour!
These pictures show the back of my room. I have a small area with a rug and stools for the students to work at when they are in their word work station during centers. In the top right picture, I the black baskets have all their materials for their center for each of the four days. The blue baskets have task cards and card games, and the bottom shelf contains reading board games. The bottom left picture is the cart I showed you a few posts ago from Michaels. The top four drawers will have their daily reading comprehension center papers (one drawer for each day) and the bottom five drawers will hold their writing journals for each of the five groups. The bottom green drawer will have extra copies of their reading papers. The bottom right picture is my computer area. I love all the computers! This will also be a center and the students will complete a different task each day of the week. I put the directions and link they will need on my class website to easily access them.
Here are some of the corners of my room. The top left picture shows my class library. I don't have a lot of shelves to put the book baskets that I've used in the past so I had to just put the books directly onto the shelf. It's difficult to see, but the spines of the books have different colored stickers to specify the genres and to help the students put the books back on the appropriate shelf. I also have some reading genre posters on the wall. I really liked how those turned out! You can also see my calendar with a paw print theme and my pencil sharpeners and stapler on the desk below it. The top right picture is of my centers rotation board. It'll show how the students move through the five centers. Their names are on the small cards on the left and secured with a push pin so I can move them if needed throughout the year. The bottom picture shows how I take attendance and lunch count each day. At the end of each school day, the students will make sure their clothespin is on "Absent" and when they return the next day, they will show me what they are getting for lunch. Anyone left on "Absent" will be marked absent and I will count how many students are getting the main choice for lunch or the other option. The lunch menu and the meal tickets are nearby so the students have easy access to them. I made the clothespins with washi tape and mod podged over them before writing the students' names on them.
This is my corner of the classroom. You can see my desk with a hanging file system for papers and a bulletin board for papers I need to easy access. Let me tell you, I'm so bad at keeping papers since I like everything digital. If I don't post it right in front of my face, I'll never find it. The bottom picture shows the bulletin boards with the reading strategy posters I made along with some parts of speech posters. The students actually use those a lot throughout the year since we do class mad libs if we ever have a few minutes before lunch. I don't plan on having these boards like this all year. I'd like to eventually put student work there, but because open house is so early this year, I don't want blank boards for the parents to see.
Here are some better pictures of the back and front of my room. My tall husband hung that place value chart for me without even needed to stand on anything. It would have taken me forever with standing on a chair and the table. In the front of the room, I'm kind of obsessed with my cursive handwriting posters. They fit perfectly and are large enough for the students to see.
So there you have it! My bright and organized classroom. It may not be as pretty as many, but it'll work for a year!